The Course

2016 UEFS Syllabus here

2017 UEFS syllabus will be available in May.

Since Field School seminars meet in downtown Vancouver at the UBC Learning Exchange, students and faculty are already immersed in ‘the field’ every day. To highlight this dimension of classroom learning, students take one hour ‘neighbourhood walks’ in the first week of the course. In recent years, classes have also included a variety of field trips relevant to course readings and discussions, such as Insite, Vancouver's legal safe drug injection site, and a neighbourhood walk of historical sites of sex work and prostitution led by Jamie Lee Hamiton and Professor Becki Ross.

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Sarah Raven, Create-a-Comic

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In the summer of 2015 I participated in the UBC Urban Ethnographic Field School. Through this cooperative and hands on learning experience I was able to gain valuable knowledge on how to conduct ethnographic fieldwork with support and guidance from instructors and my participation at a local DTES community centre where I volunteered with children during after school programs. My fieldwork with this community centre revealed a rich and diverse outcome of learning and experience that has strengthened my understanding of the ethnographic processes and the DTES community itself. The children with whom my participant observation was focused allowed me to gain a unique perspective, particularly, a view into the interconnected lives of the individuals that support and are supported by the programs at this and similar community centers, and the common goal of providing youth and families with long lasting and sustainable resources for personal and community prosperity.

Mallory McMahon, Button Blankets

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Participating in the activities at the UBC Learning Exchange was extremely impactful. Before going to the UEFS I had never heard of the asset-based approach to community development, which really shaped my interactions with the participants at the LE. Learning about people's lives in Vancouver's DTES gave me a new perspective on my city and opened both my heart and mind to the challenges Canadians face, all while sewing beautiful button blankets.

Victoria Ord, CAPC Conference

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For my UEFS experience I was placed at Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, which is a non-profit organization that works to support the neighbourhood it is placed in with a wide variety of programs. While I worked on my research, myself and the other UEFS students helped the neighbourhood house put on the CAPC conference for more then 100 parents from 4 different neighbourhood houses. The project really got me involved in the neighbourhood house as almost everything was a team decision or effort and with everything being so interconnected it created an environment where I would work with staff from other departments.On a personal level I had an amazing experience working and getting to know the staff. I felt instantly welcomed and very much at home! Within the first week of my placement, I spent 5 days a week at the house and if I wasn’t in class, I was at my placement. It became about more then my research, for me it became a place that I would do homework, volunteer my time to other staff members, and found support from some of the kindest people I have had the privilege of meeting, after recently moving to Vancouver. This placement in general pushed me to get to know the city and get off campus and explore. As of right now I am currently working at the neighbourhood house on special projects within family programs, I am also on call for childcare and administrative work and have become the Co-Vice-President of the CAPC society after working closely with conference. Moreover I am now very fortunately a part of the Frog Hollow Family.

Selenna Ho, The Journal of Undergraduate Ethnography

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UEFS 2014 alumna Selenna Ho's final paper received publication in issue 5:2 of The Journal of Undergraduate Ethnography! Click here to read her work.

Jessie Tougas, SOUJOURNERS: Undergraduate Journal of Sociology

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Alumna Jessie Tougas's UEFS research work is showcased in SOUJOURNERS! Click here to see Jessie's writing in this journal of sociology.